(Anonymous) @ 01:02 am: Say, Limmy...
Is there any chance we could get a rant on using the fossil record to add some variety to a fantasy world's fauna?

Several good authors already do this to some degree or another (Harry Turtledove, China Mieville, and Alan Dean Foster, just off the top of my head.)

It's a pleasant change of pace from the traditional stereotypes: Dragons, horses, cows/sheep/pigs, wolves, and not much else. Maybe one or two of the big cats if you're lucky.

Whereas if you draw on the fossil record, you've got 300 million years of assorted species available, in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and environmental niches.

An example: I'm writing a short story about an expedition to a newly discovered continent, where the dominant fauna is large reptiles, with mammal-like reptiles (which I have yet to see in any other work of fantasy) from 5-18 feet long occupying the various "major predator" niches.


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